Colouring maps at home helps some students develop much-needed skills

Mapping’s anything but busy work


Re: Value of homework a judgment call, Sept. 15 editorial.

I am a secondary teacher in Surrey with 20-plus years of experience, 10 of them teaching social studies.


Re: Value of homework a judgment call, Sept. 15 editorial.

I am a secondary teacher in Surrey with 20-plus years of experience, 10 of them teaching social studies.

Like many of my colleagues, I am aware of the time-management demands that modern families face and would never give students homework just for the sake of doing so.

In my subject, homework is usually whatever students did not finish in class, which encourages them to use class time productively. Sometimes it is to seek information on the Internet. Since they already spend a lot of time on their computers, they do not find this too onerous.

However, my letter is actually to dispute your comment that “colouring a Xeroxed map could be considered busy work.”

As September ends, I am completing my geography unit with my two Socials 8 and two Socials 9 classes.  There are some students who have a good knowledge of basic Geography, but many do not.  In fact, for many, their geographic understanding is dismal.

The concepts of latitude and longitude are extremely challenging for many. Although they may have a GPS in their car, they have no comprehension of the principles on which it is based.

When it comes to maps, even though the outline may be Xeroxed, I have to tell you that students find the details very challenging.

Many do not understand the difference between a continent and a country, for example, or that countries would be coloured different colours, or even that a city is represented by a dot. No kidding!

Printing the words is by far the biggest challenge.  Many students lack the motor skills to print neatly or even legibly. Copying the names with correct spelling is also difficult, and many need to be told that the names of countries, cities, etc. need to start with a capital letter.

My guess is that the reason for this is that they are used to printing on their computers, which also have spellcheck.

All of this difficulty could be avoided if I just asked the students to print out a map from Google Earth.   Maybe that’s all they need to know how to do in 2011?

I don’t believe that.

The understanding, concentration and attention to detail needed for a Grade 8 or 9 student to produce a good map is anything but “busy work”.

Ann Harris, Surrey

Just Posted

City, RCMP tackling “distressed” Surrey properties

The idea is to improve public safety and social concerns in Surrey’s neighbourhoods

White Rock restaurant serving up support for youth mental health

June 25 fundraiser at Uli’s organized in honour of the late Anthony Bourdain

Annual party at Science World helps fund Surrey student field trips there

Video by Newton-area student Ali Naqib shows him and classmates at 30-year-old Vancouver landmark

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 15-year-old Aboriginal girl

Police say Megan Hindmarch was last seen in the 12400-block of 97B Street at 8 p.m. on June 18

OUR VIEW: Silos won’t solve overcrowding in Surrey’s schools

It’s going to take a concerted team effort from all levels of government to improve this situation

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

B.C. imposes interim moratorium on resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

B.C. sculptor depicts epic eagle battle in latest piece that took 2,500 hours

Clasped in one of the raptor’s talons is each one’s desire: a living venomous diamondback rattlesnake

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Air Canada expects Boeing 737 Max to resume flying by September or October

Air Canada isn’t worried about safety of the planes, says vice-president

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Rossland boy finds human kindness sweet as honey after beehive destroyed

Family overwhelmed by kind offerings of strangers all across B.C.

Most Read

l -->